One of the most satisfying elements of writing fan fiction is the ability to make beloved characters behave the way you think they should. With Densi, this corrective writing often comes in the form of better communication. No metaphors, just straight talk. It makes for satisfying wish fulfillment for the writers we interviewed, and for their readers.
Getting back to Weiss’s original question, Deeks explained, “Everyone thinks Kensi and I are pining away for each other like we’re too emotionally damaged to do anything about our feelings. That’s where they’re wrong. Life’s too short and you’re dead too long not to be happy. I made that case to Kensi and she eventually bought in. The fact that people don’t think I know something like that or that Kensi doesn’t want to or can’t be happy,” Deeks shook his head. “Well, that tells me they think Kensi and I can’t see the future because we’re slaves to our past.” Deeks took a pull on his beer. “That was surprisingly deep for an early Saturday morning.”
For Bamie02, there’s a difference between watching Densi on TV and writing about them herself: “I am okay with them taking the longer route on TV, but the amazing thing about fan fiction is you can help them along, make them actually talk and communicate the way we would all like to see on the show. You can add scenes or change them around a little to go with what you’re writing, what we all wanted to happen or how things could play out later.” Belle Walker tries to stick with the television version of these characters, but only to a point. “I think it matches somewhat in that they’re both so obviously in love with each other in their hearts on the show, but have a hard time getting to that same point ‘out loud,’ and that’s the way I tend to write them in fanfic” she says. “As far as it differing…well, when they do finally get together in my stories, it’s a lot quicker and easier than they do on the show!”
To say there has been a bit of a backlash to metaphor-heavy Season 5 would be an understatement. This group of writers chooses to write their Densi using plain English to communicate. Tess DiCorsi, for one, is “Not a raccoon person. Grown adults have conversations about their future, not trade metaphors or symbolic weapons to explain their Facebook status.” And ZBBZL says, “Well, considering they get together in most of my stories, I’d say that my Densi is quite different. I don’t make them act like teenagers who speak in stupid metaphors and imaginarily mate for life.”
But all those reasons seem to momentarily be forgotten with Deeks. It no longer scares her as much as it did in the beginning to open up to him, to let him see sides of her that she didn’t even know still existed after years of burying them deep inside her. More than that, it actually does feel kind of nice; having someone to confide in, someone she can say almost everything to and who won’t see her differently for it. Deeks always seems genuinely happy when she shares the littlest things with him, little, insignificant things for most people, things she thought he couldn’t care less of but that he takes great interest in listening to. And it does mean a lot for her to know that she knows things about him than no one else does; things he doesn’t willingly share until she coaxes him with a smile or a gentle hand on his arm, things that sometimes make her shudder and feel for him, for the kid he was and who never really got a proper childhood, for the young man who had to work for everything he ever had, things that only her presence and warmth by his side can help him voice out.
phillydi’s Densi is “much more communicative in my fics. They are more real in terms of communicating as a real couple would.” This enhanced communication doesn’t always mean that Deeks and Kensi’s relationship progresses smoothly. For Belle Walker, they might still take a while to get together, but communication isn’t necessarily a roadblock. “I’m OK with them taking a longer route to coupledom if it gives them the opportunity to figure out what is keeping them apart and what they need to individually work on in order to be a couple that works and has longevity,” she says. “I wrote them as working through a lot of their issues, many of which have never been voiced on the show in any way. I want them to be together on the show, but not if they can’t be brought together well, and not if it can’t be sustained by the show. The TV episodes are a different format from fanfic.”
aslycsi1315 writes her Densi as prepared to try for a deeper relationship. “My Densi are probably more ready to make the jump and less concerned with the blowback from their job,” she explains. “Kensi is definitely more aware of her feelings and tends to admit her feelings whenever I put Deeks in major danger. I believe that with all the danger that they’ve encountered, I believe that the risk of not being able to see their loved one tomorrow, Deeks and Kensi should at least try to be together instead of regretting if something were to happen to one of them.”
Jericho Steele also writes a Densi driven to say what they really mean by the dangers of their job. For example, in his first NCIS:LA story, “they begin to realize what they mean to each other and that they may not have a ‘tomorrow’ to finally say or do what their hearts want them to do. I used the show’s established level of trust/friendship, and just ramped it up a notch or two by putting them in situations that show the importance of not putting things off until it is too late. Instead of them allowing their fear to cause them to back off and slow things down too much, I used that fear to motivate them to press forward instead of stepping back.”
Deeks didn’t respond, he just continued to look out the window. When he felt Kensi brush up against his side, he cocked his head toward her and just took her in for a moment or two. She glanced over at him and he was a little embarrassed that she caught him staring at her so intently. When she saw a slight blush cover his face, she quickly turned away, not wanting to further disturb the moment they were sharing.
She heard him clear his throat but she wasn’t expecting him to say anything when he started to speak. “Friendship often leads to something more… you know?”
When Kensi turned and looked at him… really looked at him… she could see that he was struggling on saying something that he wanted to say without giving away too much. His Adam’s apple bobbed a few times as he swallowed and she started to respond but he spoke softly before she could begin.
“You have trust, understanding, commitment, loyalty, respect… you get to where you know that person better than you know anyone else… and sometimes stepping out into a relationship… well, it’s just the next logical step.”
But even when Densi is written with better communication skills, they may still struggle to make a commitment, and even to fully express their feelings. Kensi in particular seems to be more often portrayed as hesitant to commit. “Kensi’s uncertainty is a pretty consistent thing,” says ZeGabz. Sweet Lu notes that “Although [her Densi] are a couple and have a healthy and very sexy physical relationship, they still hold back, especially Kensi. She is still afraid to commit completely even though she loves him. She wants to be with him, but doesn’t want or need it formalized.”
Deeks, too, sometimes hesitates to fully share his feelings for Kensi. As Jessica237 describes him, “…my Deeks, quite obviously I think, adores Kensi. Most of the time, my Deeks, the Deeks I see when I write him, is head over heels in love with her, but doesn’t quite know what to do with that because she’s his partner, and he can’t imagine her not being his partner because everything else aside, she’s his best friend, and probably the only person who really gets him. So he tends to keep his feelings close to his chest instead of wearing them on his sleeve so much, because what he has with her as a partner is much better than not having anything at all because she ran away, which I think is one of his fears. I feel like he places her on a pedestal, and doesn’t quite see that he could ever be good enough for her (and some of her comments, playful or not, probably knocked that belief home for him). And it’s also probably why my Deeks tends to put things in Kensi’s court to make her act on them, because while she accused him of it, she doesn’t really say what she means either and it drives him utterly insane.”
He kissed her then said quietly, “I have to say this and please don’t feel like you have to answer but I’ve been pretending for so long… it feels good to finally give in to what I’ve really wanted for a very long time.” He looked directly into her eyes and said softly, “I love you Kensi.”
He noticed a shiny tear slide slowly down her cheek and he brushed it away with his thumb. She ran her hand through his unruly hair and placed a soft kiss on his cheek.
“I’m so sorry that I didn’t tell you before. I was scared you didn’t feel the same way. I love you Marty, and I have ever since you took me to that homeless shelter on Christmas Eve.”
He grinned and said, “It was the Santa hat wasn’t it?”
In the end, more often than not, fan fiction writers give us a Densi who is able to work through their issues and end up in a happier place than where they began, and often in a happier place than on TV. ZBBZL explained her Densi this way: “I take them on a journey to facing their fears, the obstacles between them, until they fully commit. I mean, isn’t this the point of fan fiction? Taking the characters on a journey that the show doesn’t? So, that’s what I do.”
Speaking of happy endings, next time we’ll discuss how our writers write Densi as a couple. What are the challenges of depicting a more committed relationship than we’ve seen on TV (until recently at least)? What’s it like to write a Densi married, or even pregnant? Tune in next week for more on Domestic Densi.
Want to Read More? To find the stories quoted above, follow these links:
Tess DiCorsi, “Scattered”
Jericho Steele, “Aunt Hetty”
Kadiedid, “The Future Eventually Catches Up”
We also asked each writer to recommend a short story they thought best represents their Densi. aslycsi1315’s “Holding You” (romance/drama) is a great example of a more direct Densi. “It shows the fear of not being able to say ‘I love you’ with the nuclear weapons Siderov has looming over their heads,” she says. “I believe the story shows their personalities, their hopes and their feelings very well.”
Or, go back to the previous Writing Deeks, Will They or Won’t They?
A special thanks to @thewingsofnight for creating the wonderful artwork.